Volunteering with local organizations is a great opportunity for seniors to stay connected to the community and lend a helping hand. It provides seniors with a hobby, something special to engage their time and minds and meet other people. Many seniors volunteer to ease loneliness or to reduce risks of mental illnesses such as depression. More than 48 million seniors 65+ volunteer every year and there's always an opportunity for every individual to make a difference in not only the lives of others, but their own life as well. Numerous studies report that people who volunteer their time live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Volunteering fills a void for seniors and certainly makes a tremendous difference in the lives of so many other people.
Types of Volunteer Opportunities
Hundreds of organizations depend on volunteers to keep their efforts afloat. Many organizations receive limited funding, therefore, they would be unable to continue offering services without this help. For volunteers, this leaves a plethora of opportunities open in which their services prove beneficial. Seniors may choose from a variety of opportunities that they’ll appreciate and enjoy that also help others in the community. Some of the most popular types of volunteer opportunities include:
- Secretarial duties, such as answering telephones, filing paperwork, etc.
- Caring for animals, whether bathing and grooming or other services
- Working with children
- Delivering meals to the elderly
- Raising money for various causes
- Working at local community centers, museums, etc.
- Marketing and promotions for the organization and special events
How to Get Started
If you decide to volunteer, first sit down and write a list of qualities you can offer to an organization. Also decide the type of volunteer opportunity you are most interested in, the amount of time you can devote to volunteering, the days/hours you’ll volunteer, etc. Knowing this information ahead of time certainly saves a lot of effort. Next, find an organization to volunteer with to learn their requirements. Ensure you select a volunteer opportunity that interests you or a cause that is close to your heart. Finding a list of volunteer opportunities is fairly easy to do online. Apply to volunteer with the organization(s) of interest and wait for their response. Most organizations run a background check on potential volunteers ahead of bringing them in for service. It’s that simple and easy to get started with a volunteer opportunity in your area!
Tips to Make Volunteering Better
Not every volunteer experience turns out great. It’s worth trying again if a bad experience is the first outcome. There are ways to improve volunteering though. Volunteering your time is made better when the following tips are used:
- Choose the organization(s) you volunteer with carefully. Ensure that you can meet their requirements without interfering with your normal activities and without causing yourself any undue stress, worry or other problems.
- Choose an opportunity that involves work you enjoy and that you are proficient in.
- Educate yourself about the organization and its mission ahead of accepting a volunteer position. Knowledge is power and the more that you know, the more you can help others.
- A positive attitude carries you through the day. Arrive at the volunteer spot with a positive attitude and a smile on your face. This starts the day off right for everyone and ensures that you enjoy your time at the organization.